The AFL-CIO has launched a new direct mail campaign aimed at attacking Mitt Romney’s record on coal mine safety.

The ad features union president Richard Trumka, a third generation coal miner from Pennsylvania.

The mailer, which features photographs of Trumka holding his father’s miner helmet which he now keeps in his office, quotes him as saying: “I worked in the mines. And so did my father until he died of black lung disease.  I keep his helmet in my office so I’ll never forget why we need elected leaders who stand up for people who wear helmets every day.  That’s why we can’t afford people like Mitt Romney who are putting corporate profits before worker health and safety.”

The mailer goes on to attack Romney for his positions on collective bargaining rights, Medicare and Social Security. It’s being sent to voters in coal-producing regions of Pennsylvania and Ohio.

The AFL-CIO is the largest federation of trade unions in the United States, and has endorsed President Obama’s re-election bid. But the United Mine Workers of America, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO, has said that it won’t be endorsing any candidate for president.

Erica Peterson reports on energy and the environment for WFPL. She is also Enterprise Editor.